Student-made robots, gadgets highlight MTSU technology event

At one point, it appeared two robotic-driven mail delivery systems were on a collision course … best and strongest man (delivery system) wins.

Both were stationed across from each other April 27 at the Nissan Training Center in Smyrna when one of MTSU mechatronics engineeringteams decided to guide their mail delivery system toward the other team’s senior project, stopping a few feet away.

Robots, robotics, a solar cellphone charger — all sorts of gadgets — were on display at the MTSU Engineering Technology Poster and Project Presentation.

The event was an end-of-academic-year happening for the department’s students and faculty, showcasing their hands-on work in front of industry folks, some of whom served as judges.

“Mailbot: The Automotive Mailbox” was the project for mechatronics engineering seniors Daniel Morgan, Bryan York, Sarah Gunger andMaryam Sedhom.

“We put a lot of work into it,” Morgan said. “It pushed all of us outside our comfort level.”

Gunger said the “Mailbot” was a battery-powered, remote control project “for people with disabilities and the elderly.” She talked about the sturdiness of the design and materials.

“You can shove it or kick it. We welded everything together,” she said. “This is here to last for sure. It can handle everyday issues and 8 to 9 mph wind.”

Four teams, including the “Mailbot” team, received $1,000 each from student lab fees for new equipment and parts. All were asked to stay within budget.

“We exceeded it by $200 or $300,” Gunger said. Any expenses beyond $1,000 were considered out of pocket for the students.

Sedhom called it “a great experience and challenging.”

The other mail delivery system was designed and built by seniors Mohammad Aldujaila, Joe Beck, Ayman Yaseem and Praseudsack Phoxay.

A solar drinking-water filter and coffee cup fetcher were among the other projects.

Engineering technology is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments. To learn more, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/engineering/

and http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/mechatronics/.

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